Farm Bureau heads to Europe as WTO problems continue
September 29, 2014
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman is leading a delegation of the organization's leaders to Europe this week to discuss efforts "to increase trade through comprehensive agreements that would reduce, if not eliminate, government-imposed barriers to agricultural trade," Farm Bureau announced Monday.
"Regulatory barriers, particularly those not grounded in scientific standards, have limited the flow of agricultural trade between the U.S. and EU markets for too long," Stallman said.
The American Farm Bureau Trade Advisory Committee, chaired by Minnesota Farm Bureau Prresident Kevin Paap, will meet with World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevêdo, other WTO officials and ambassadors to the WTO from Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, China and Canada.
Following the meeting in Geneva, the group will travel to Brussels to meet with EU officials to discuss the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership.
Of TTIP, Stallman said, "U.S. farmers and ranchers are ready for commitments that result in real actions to open market access and limit trade disruptions."
"Before the U.S. considers reductions in or limitations on domestic support for U.S. agriculture, negotiations must yield an important net gain for U.S. farmers and ranchers through commitments on market access and on trade-distorting policies by our trading partners."
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Other members of the Farm Bureau trade delegation include: Nevada Farm Bureau President Hank Combs, Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke, Montana Farm Bureau President Bob Hanson, Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill, Wyoming Farm Bureau President Perry Livington and Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach.
Meanwhile, the WTO remains deadlocked over the standoff between the adoption of the protocol of amendment to implement the new Trade Facilitation Agreement and a permanent solution for public stockholding of food in developing countries, Washington Trade Daily reported.
Azevêdo told an informal meeting of heads of delegations that he ruled out "strict parallelism" between the two negotiations, WTD said.
A package known as the Bali Agreement supposedly resolved the two issues, but India has insisted that it wants to hold food and other low income countries have also said they want a better agricultural development deal.